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Japan to propose infrastructure building guidelines at APEC


Japanese flagTOKYO, April 8 – Japan plans to propose drawing up guidelines for building social infrastructure such as power generation plants and roads at an Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation forum meeting in late April, informed sources told Japan’s Jiji Press on Saturday.

The Japanese government is considering guidelines under which proposed infrastructure projects will be evaluated comprehensively in competitive bidding, from the viewpoints of not only prices but also durability and environmental friendliness, the sources said. By encouraging APEC partners to construct high-quality infrastructure, Japan aims to help promote sustainable economic development in the region, the sources said.

Japan plans to present the proposal at APEC trade ministers’ meeting to be held on Surabaya in Indonesia on April 20-21, which will bring together representatives from 21 countries and regions, including the United States and China.
From Japan, Minister of Economy, Trade and Industry Toshimitsu Motegi is considering attending the meeting.

The proposal reflects concerns over the deteriorated quality of some social infrastructure in Southeast Asian countries after companies from emerging economies won construction contracts at low prices, the sources said. The proposal for guidelines is aimed at preventing the construction of infrastructure that “trades off quality for price,” a Japanese government official said.

It is also aimed at helping promote infrastructure exports by Japanese companies with advanced technologies, said the sources familiar with the matter. Based on lessons learned from supply chain disruptions in the aftermath of the March 2011 earthquake and tsunami in northeastern Japan, the Japanese government also plans to make other proposals, including business continuity planning for emergencies and diversification of distribution channels, the sources said.

Japan hopes its proposals will be reflected in a joint statement to be issued after the APEC trade ministers’ meeting so that member economies will work to reach an agreement on concrete measures toward an APEC summit in October, the sources said.